Our faculty members are nationally recognized for their collaborative efforts to understand the basic science of childhood disorders and translating discoveries into better ways to deliver care and improve the health of children.
Eric Austin, MD, MSCI
Dr. Austin is a physician-scientist specializing in translational research studies. The Austin Research Lab is a combined laboratory-based and patient-oriented translational research program that focuses on pulmonary hypertension and other cardiopulmonary morbidities in children and adults with and without preexisting known genetic risks. Our research team achieves success via close collaboration with multiple other investigative groups, particularly our colleagues in the Vanderbilt University Pulmonary Vascular Research Program (VUPVRP). Our lab conducts a variety of short and long-term research studies with a variety of human subjects, including patients with pulmonary hypertension (PH), family members at genetic risk of developing PH, individuals with other forms of risk, and healthy subjects.
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Leonard Bacharier, MD
Dr. Leonard Bacharier's research is focused on clinical research to help understand and improve the care of children with allergic and respiratory diseases, with a focus on asthma and bronchiolitis. His clinical/translational research efforts are directed at the pathogenesis of allergies and asthma in early life and approaches to asthma management throughout childhood, including multi-center, federally funded clinical trials in asthma. He is actively studying novel treatment strategies for adolescents with severe asthma. Dr. Bacharier also collaborates with multiple investigators and research groups around the nation studying factors related to the development, prevention and management of childhood asthma.
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Rebekah Brown, MD
Dr. Rebekah Brown is involved in clinical research and quality improvement (QI) research focused on children affected by cystic fibrosis (CF). Dr. Brown is the Co-PI of the Therapeutics Development Network site at Vanderbilt which performs multicenter clinical trials and observational studies in children and adults affected by CF. Dr. Brown also serves as an investigator in collaborative research projects at Vanderbilt focusing on gastrointestinal, sleep and otolaryngology complications in CF. The QI work of the CF program led by Dr. Brown strives to improve clinical outcomes of children affected by CF through nutritional, psychosocial and pulmonary QI work.
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Stacy Dorris, MD
Dr. Stacy Dorris’ research focuses on food allergies. Vanderbilt’s Food Allergy Program is now a Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) Center of Excellence. As director of the Food Allergy Program, she manages a long-term national registry of fatal food reactions and is the principal investigator for a study with DBV involving the peanut patch in allergic children age 1-3 years old.
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Paul Moore, MD
Dr. Paul Moore’s research focuses on children with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) and asthma. Through the NIH-funded Premature and Respiratory Outcomes Program (PROP), Dr. Moore and colleagues at 6 centers have studied the molecular mechanisms that contribute to respiratory disease in the premature infant. The Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Program has facilitated long-term follow up of the PROP cohort. Dr. Moore also serves as an investigator in the PATHWAYS Study to understand the impact of maternal stress and other environmental exposures on respiratory outcomes in childhood.
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Michael O’Connor, MD
Dr. Michael O'Connor's research focuses on children with primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD). PCD is a rare disease that affects the motor cilia in the body and results in recurrent pneumonia and recurrent sinus infections. Dr. O'Connor works with other clinical research centers in the PCD Foundation Clinical Center Network to investigate ways to better diagnose the rare disease. Here at Vanderbilt, Dr. O'Connor is PI of our nasal nitric oxide (nNO) testing protocol, which is research testing that is helping to better diagnose PCD. Dr. O'Connor is also medical director for the PCD Foundation North American registry. In this role, he oversees the addition of new participating clinical centers to the registry and helps direct the process for overall data collection.
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Rachel G. Robison, MD
Dr. Rachel Robison is a pediatric allergist-immunologist with expertise in clinical research studies of asthma and food allergy. She has been a principal investigator and co-investigator on over 16 food allergy clinical trials studying therapeutic interventions for the disease. Dr. Robison directs the Food Allergy Program and is the VUMC site primary investigator of the Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) Clinical Network’s Food Allergy Collaborative of Tennessee and Virginia Discovery Center. Her research interests include the study of novel therapeutics for treatment of food allergy, immunotherapy and understanding how these therapies can be successfully integrated into real-world patient care.
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Christian Rosas-Salazar, MD, MPH
Dr. Christian Rosas-Salazar is a pediatric pulmonologist and physician scientist with broad expertise in clinical and translational research and a primary investigator at the Center for Asthma Research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The main goal of his research is to identify and better understand early-life risk factors for the development of childhood respiratory diseases. His current research focuses on 1) examining the role of the infant respiratory and gut microbiome in the origins of childhood asthma and the programming of the immune response, 2) the discovery of biomarkers of the development and severity of acute respiratory infections and childhood asthma, and 3) assessing genetic, environmental, and sociodemographic factors that explain health disparities in childhood asthma.
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Andrew Sokolow, MD
Dr. Andrew Sokolow has a broad range of clinical research interests. He is active in clinical research and quality improvement initiatives in the arenas of Cystic Fibrosis and Duchenne muscular dystrophy centers. He is also involved in clinical/translational research projects in conjunction with the division of Pediatric Infectious Disease through collaborative efforts with the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program (VVRP).